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2019 NSW election in Cootamundra may see Steph Cooke return to office for the Nationals

Update - 9:30pm

With 36.5 per cent of the vote now counted, the margin has swung enormously in the Nationals' favour.

Incumbent member Steph Cooke has hit 76.1 per cent of the vote, with Country Labor's Mark Douglass on 23.9 per cent.

The Nationals are in the lead with a 5.7 per cent swing.

On first preferences, Steph Cooke continues to lead. The current sitting member holds 63.8 per cent of the first preference vote.

Shooters, Farmers, Fishers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller in Cootamundra. Picture: Emma Horn

Shooters, Farmers, Fishers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller in Cootamundra. Picture: Emma Horn

Shooters, Farmers, Fishers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller sits behind on first preferences, having snapped up 16.5 per cent. 

Mark Douglass is on 15 per cent of the first preferences. 

Greens candidate Jeff Passlow looks to take up to three per cent of the overall vote.

Meanwhile, latecomer Joseph Costello will likely claim just over one per cent for the Sustainable Australia Party.

Unaffiliated candidate Dr Jim Saleam has now reached 0.9 per cent of the first preferences.

Previous - 8pm

Now just a couple hours after polling closed, the count has begun and the Nationals incumbent member Steph Cooke looks to be the favourite.

About 7.5 per cent of the vote has so far been counted, and two candidates have shot out ahead.

Nationals member Steph Cooke in Cootamundra. Picture: Emma Horn

Nationals member Steph Cooke in Cootamundra. Picture: Emma Horn

Steph Cooke sits at 73.3 per cent of the vote while Country Labor's Mark Douglass is on 26.7 per cent.

A lot can still change as the count continues, especially as Shooters, Fishers, Farmers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller climbs in the first preference.

The 34-year-old Hilltops councillor turned state candidate is holding 16.2 per cent of the first preferences. 

Country Labor candidate Mark Douglass in Junee.

Country Labor candidate Mark Douglass in Junee.

Steph Cooke remains out in front with first preferences, currently sitting on 62.9 per cent.

Betting pundits called it yesterday, placing bids for the 42-year-old National candidate at a cool $1.01, contrasting to the next bet of $9 for Country Labor's 63-year-old Mark Douglass.

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This story Cooke looks to claim victory as count begins first appeared on Southern Cross.

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